McCleary Horror Picture Show

Daniel is a bundle of unexpended energy, and in the winter it’s especially bad. We have a little trampoline that we send him to go jump on, because it’s better for him to be bouncing than running all over the house. He never walks anywhere. It’s always run, jog, skip, jump, roll, cartwheel - anything rather than walk. We always tell him to slow down, be careful, because he’s going to get hurt. Of course, nothing usually happens, so I guess that warning doesn’t mean too much to him.

But then last night, finally, something did happen.

Daniel was particularly all over the place yesterday. From the minute he got home from school he couldn’t stay still, bouncing out of chairs and jumping and running. So, of course, when bedtime came and we told the kids to go upstairs, he couldn’t just walk up the stairs. He lunged himself at them full speed, and the next thing we know he’s laying on the steps, crying his eyes out.

From where we were, it just looked like he’d tripped a bit on the steps, but that wouldn’t have hurt him too bad. He kept crying though, and I went upstairs with him and told him to stop crying, he was okay. He hiccuped and gasped and said, “I’m trying to stop,” and that’s when I saw the blood.

It was like something out of a horror movie, a bright red river running down the side of his face and pooling at his neckline. It was the kind of bloodflow that you’d expect to see coming out of an axe lodged into the victim’s skull. Emily shrieked and said, “There’s blood!”, at which Daniel began thoroughly freaking out. I gave her a look that said, “Thanks a lot, Emily, now go keep your mouth shut,” because she knows how blood freaks Daniel out.

I told him it wasn’t really that bad, keeping calm despite the abundance of blood flowing steadily down his face. I took him to the bathroom and tried to get through his hair to see what the problem was. Daniel has started not wanting to have his hair cut, and is determined to grow it longer, so it took a while to get through all that hair. It’s really thick. But when I finally did, this is what I found:


Only bloodier. Much bloodier. This picture was taken at the hospital after he’d been cleaned up. He’d apparently hit his head on the newell post, producing a gash about 1.5 inches long. It flapped open sickeningly, and I quickly put the hair down, calling to my mother (who fortuitously happens to be at our house right now.) She’s a registered nurse, so is most helpful in situations like this. She came, and agreed with my suspicion that it needed stitches and that we had to go to the hospital.

Well, all it took was those words to set Emily off again. She was wailing, “What’s going to happen to him! Oh, Daniel! Oh, Daniel!” which, obviously, didn’t help Daniel to be calm. Tim went to get clothes on while I got a wet cloth and tried to make Daniel look less like a victim of the undead. Emily continued to wail downstairs, seriously concerned about her brother. It was genuine panic, not something mustered up for effect, which demonstrates the sweet, close connection they have with each other. I appreciated the attachment to Daniel which was making her freak out...but I really wished at the same time that she’d calm down already, because she was seriously making things much worse. Tim put Daniel’s coat over his pajamas and took him to the car, and my mother sent a blanket out with him in case he was in shock. I went to calm Emily down. I told her I was going with Daddy and Daniel to the hospital, but that he was going to be okay. I sent her with Grandma to read a story and (hopefully) calm down, while we went to the hospital.

So, we went to Aria Health out in Oxford Valley and, amazingly, got right in. We didn’t have to sit and wait one second, which was rather amazing to me. I was prepared for five hours of ER misery. They of course asked all the questions fishing for whether Daniel had been abused or not. Those questions always make me nervous, because he’s always getting some sort of injury or another, and I’m always worried about how that looks, but I apparently passed the not-an-abuser test because they didn’t say anything.

After that, it was straightforward. We were sent back, where nurses began packing the wound with cotton balls soaked with TLE, which was a numbing agent. No needles! Which was good, since a needle in the head probably hurts a lot. The nurse said the medicine from the needle burns a lot, too, so the topical was good. It took forever, though, about half an hour. And they didn’t shave his head so the tape wasn’t keeping it in place, so I had to go hold it there. (Some of these pictures look different because Tim took them with his iPhone and did the instagram thing, and apparently they turn out like this.)


Daniel was very proud of the TLE medicine the nurse told him to “take care of”...


... and his wrist band.

Finally, it was ready and the PA came to stitch him up. She started on the edge, and he felt it so she went to the middle where it was more numb. He was perfectly still, wincing once in a while, but never crying or yelling at all. Then she went back to that last stitch which he could feel, probably because it was at the very edge and the cotton ball hadn’t covered it. He said, “Ow ow ow ow!” softly, squeezing his eyes shut and wincing, but then it was done. He was so good, and so calm, and so brave.

So we got him a Chic-Fil-A peppermint shake as a reward. Happy day.

The only time he cried was when he said, “Can you call Emily and tell her I’m okay,” and his eyes filled up. I said, “Oh, it’s okay to cry, honey,” and he said, “I’m trying to stop,” but he was really weepy thinking about Emily and her concern for him. I called and put him on the phone with her, and he started to cry again and said to Emily, “I’m crying because I love you.” Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about a sweet Mama moment. I love how my children love each other.

We got home at about 9:30, and the incident happened at 8:00, so really, it wasn’t that bad at all time-wise. Emily of course couldn’t sleep until we got home, so the kids didn’t get in bed until closer to 10:00. Then I had to set my alarm for 2:00 because we were supposed to wake him up every 4 hours. Which wasn’t fun, but, that’s the life of a parent who doesn’t want their kid to fall into a coma.

Daniel was excited by his stitches because “Now I look like Frankenstein!”


Which, really, is only appropriate, since it was generally a horror-movie-image sort of night anyway.

Today, it’s snowing heavily, and I’m surprised school isn’t cancelled. But Daniel woke up bright and early - despite the late, traumatic, evening - and feeling eager to go show off his battle scars. He’ll be milking this one for weeks, I’m sure. Let’s just hope it teaches him a little caution as well. At least for a day or two.